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Joint Planning Commission Prepares for Comprehensive Plan Update

HCJPC Logo 300HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (12/12/13) — The Hopkins County Joint Planning Commission presented at the Madisonville Lions Club Wednesday, Dec. 11 about the upcoming comprehensive update.

“We have started our comprehensive update,” said Cynthia Young, administrative assistant. “It’s a planning process that involves the communities' input.”

The comprehensive plan establishes the long term community vision. It’s a vision that looks 20 years into the future.

“It takes a while to plan for these things, these things don’t happen overnight,” said Young. “So we have to figure out how much growth we want, where do we want the growth to be located, and what kind of things we may need to make the quality of those things good.”

Young said four key questions are answered in developing plans — “Where are we now? Where are we going? Where do we want to go? And, How do we get there?”

“We have to answer all these questions,” said Young. “Every 10 years, we get a census in our mail and people fill it out and then we use that information to get some information about the community we need to know to help with the planning.”

From the 2010 census update, the Joint Planning Commission found that the Hopkins County population had increased 0.9 percent between 2000-2010 and the Hopkins County median age is 40.4. As of 2012, the population was estimated at 46,718.

“We found that since the last plan, Hopkins County gained population, but we don’t have enough college-aged residents,” said Young. “Where we have our dip is from 20 to 24 year olds, we are significantly under represented for that age group. This mostly means a lot of people in this age group go off to a four year university, but we want to look at how to get them to come back.”

The 2010 census revealed that 27 percent of householders live alone, 32 percent households have individuals under 18 years, 56 percent of housing units were built before 1980, 71 percent are owner occupied, 10 percent vacancy rate, and the median home value is about $77,200, said Young.

“We found that one out of three households live alone and that we have a lower vacancy than the state of Kentucky,” she said. “We have a higher owner occupy, higher than the state. So if you live here, the chances are, you own your own home and that home is a bargain because it is significantly lower than the states.”

Young mentions that 79 percent of workers live and work in Hopkins County. That 96 percent of these workers use their own vehicle to get to work. 84 percent of these drivers drive alone and the average travel time to work is 20 minutes.

Young also explained that Hopkins County has more residents with associate degrees than the state average and that the median household income is $32,312, which is slightly lower than the state of Kentucky, but higher than most surrounding communities.

“This tells us that the vast majority of people that live here, work here, which is a good thing. It means that they are staying in town to eat, get gas and buy groceries,” said Young. “Just like a business has to plan to succeed, a community has to do the same. During a planning process, it has to be collaborative.”

A survey has been issued for community members' input to update the comprehensive planning process.

To take the short survey, visit http://hopkinscountyplanning.org/news.html.

Amber Averitt
SurfKY News Reporter

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